Friday, June 17, 2011
TV Tells You What To Think About Weight [And Everything Else For That Matter]
I was thinking about this watching some commercials, why are fat women so rare on TV? Looking at CNN news, I noticed there seemed to be nary a difference between two female newscasters who were lithe thin and had the same wide tooth smiles.
America is turning into a nation of drones addicted to a mind-molding drug called television. Like alcohol, television is something that can be good in small doses, such as an occasional nature show or comedy equal to a daily glass of wine, and bad when we spend more than five hours per day ogling the all-seeing, all-knowing "boob tube" getting drunk on stupidity. One thing the TV trains us in is how we should look, and that means "NO FAT PEOPLE" at the top of the list.
Americans are allowing their lives and minds to be co-opted for the sake of easily-available electronic entertainment. We are amusing ourselves to death, and we don't seem to mind. Life is not meant to be lived but to be distracted from.
As a child, I can remember the regional differences that were once attached to fashions and stores; you could find some gumbo in Louisiana, and pasties in Michigan. Today, it is possible to travel the whole continent eating McDonalds, and it all tastes the same! Strip malls populate the land, and the same big box stores that look the same everywhere. People could be something other rather than skinny and blond and still be considered beautiful! A keg's worth of television has washed away all the subtle nuances of culture! So wonder France bans American television.
Watching television gives many harmful messages; here's an economy tour of the most gratuitous ones:
Fat people are no good and are to be ignored, or made into objects of ridicule.
Only skinny, pretty young people fall in love.
Women are supposed to be young, blond and thin.
Men are supposed to be young, buff and athletic.
Rich people are better than their poorer counterparts on the other side of the glittering capital divide.
Your life is boring.
Your life is meaningless unless you are famous.
Your life is not glamorous enough!
Television is leading to the enforced sameness of society by cleaning out the diversity, and replacing it with blandness. Television teaches Americans to buy products and to never question. Even counter-cultural movements are turned into commodities by television and turned into a shadow of their former selves. I know too many people whose life goals center around making money and buying whatever they see advertised on their almighty "god" of television. Television is preacher and priest of the religion of the status quo.
Unlike church, this minister lives in your house, and never leaves. Since everyone's got something to sell, the powers that be and corporations don’t want people to think, they just want them to buy! And you better be SKINNY too.
As recently as the Seventies, people actually used to do stuff like having block parties, visit neighbors, hike in the woods and do macrame'. Back in the 1800s it was even better; people would have socials, practice the art of conversation, quilt, go to church, and stay active. Now people sit in front of the television. Conversation has become more of a lost art! Television has replaced meaningful discourse.
Over the last decades involvement in the community has been declining. From the Jaycees to The Lions Club, service organizations are reporting less involvement, due to an aging membership. As shown by the shrinking percentages of voters in the U.S., life has become less of a participatory endeavor and more of a spectator sport.
Television has made some people more boring. Finding people who actually have hobbies today is hard, let alone people who can show responses to life that aren't programmed in them by such shows as "Friends," and "The Guiding Light,". Where people once read the Bible or Thoreau I know far too many people whose life goals center around making money and doing what they are told dictated by a box in their living rooms. For guidance, they now watch "Maury," or "American Idol".
Television is even affecting America's morality. Generation X bred on "Three's Company" and -- for the new crowd, "Sex And The City" -- are going to form different values than the ones promoted through the churches and family of old.
Television promotes violence, divorce and a looser sexual morality. People begin thinking that if they live like their favorite actors and starlets, they too can lay claim to their wonderful, supposedly pain-free lives. They also are modeling their looks after the starlets who in their anorexic glory are the reason everyone wants to be rail-thin, blond and wear the same type of clothes.
Famed critic Michael Medved has brought up the point of television not being honest about the ramifications of suffering and death, which is also true. Television also has made for more depression in that people are given the message that bad things only happen to villains -- not the reality that bad things happen to good people, too. He was correct about the damage television is doing. It is like a drug and its destroying our culture replacing it with an empty one. It is selling away our souls for the cheapest bidders leaving us drunk in the gutter with delusions of grandeur. It also has done endless damage to fat people when the whole world is told "how to look".